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EXCLUSIVE: Mixed-use project with 30-story towers proposed, Comras to lease retail

Dec. 9, 2016

CK Prive Group has revealed development plans for a corner intersection property in North Miami Beach that include three towers for apartments, hotel rooms and offices plus a retail building.

Comras Co., which specializes in urban retail such as Lincoln Road in South Beach, Cocowalk in Coconut Grove and Las Olas in Fort Lauderdale, has signed on to lease the retail in the new project, called Uptown 163.

CK Prive Group assembled 5.1 acres at the northeast corner of Northeast 163rd Street and Biscayne Boulevard in 2015 and March 2016 for a combined $48.8 million. Currently home to Dean’s Gold strip club, the property is at the main intersection leading to the causeway connecting Aventura and North Miami Beach with Sunny Isles Beach.

The developer hired Arquitectonica to design Uptown 163 and it plans to submit an application to the city in early 2017, said Javier Rabinovich. He’s the CEO of Prive Land Banking, which partnered with CK Holding Group to form CK Prive Group and acquire a series of development sites in northeast Miami-Dade County.

Javier Rabinovich said Uptown 163 would have 160 hotel rooms, 198 apartments for rent, 130,000 square feet of leasable office space, 200,000 square feet of retail and about 1,400 parking spaces. The tallest tower would be 30 stories.

Rabinovich said this intersection is among the busiest in the county with about 140,000 cars passing by per day. From high in a tower at the site, tenants would have views of Biscayne Bay and Oleta River State Park. In addition, the Harbour condominium is under construction on a neighboring site.

"This location is unmatched as far as access, exposure, demographics, and market fundamentals,” Rabinovich said. "Aventura is currently at 100 percent retail occupancy and just over 4 percent office vacancy. This point needs no explanation.”

Uptown 163 would be about 10 blocks north of another major project, the SoLē Mia in North Miami. This 183-acre project by the billionaire Soffer and LeFrak families is under construction with plans for 400,000 to 500,000 square feet of retail in the first phase, plus 220,000 square feet of office, 4,390 residences and a 150-room hotel.

"SoLe Mia is a phenomenal project but very different in key characteristics which define the attractive nature we offer to retailers,” Rabinovich said. “We offer 'on the street' exposure second-to-none in terms of volume by way of the 140,000 cars a day passing our site. SoLe Mia will be a destination promenade. We are planning a lifestyle project with upscale dinning and brands un-able to serve the Aventura/Sunny Isles market until now."

Representatives of the Soffer family couldn’t be reached for comment.

 Michael Comras said he decided to represent Uptown 163 because it’s an urban-oriented project and a natural growth of the busy Aventura retail market. Its main retail building would be two stories directly on the corner with escalators leading to the second floor. Restaurants can have sidewalk seating and rooftop terraces.

“We created interior streets off the street so it feels like it’s part of the grid,” Comras said. “The whole idea is to create an environment that makes it interesting for people to hang out."

 Jeffrey Evans , a broker with Comras Cos., said he’s received strong interest from restaurants, home furnishing retailers and entertainment businesses. Comras said the rental rate will be similar to what other properties along Biscayne Boulevard are quoting, which is between $50 and $70 per square foot.

On the office side, CK Prive Group has plenty of experience as it has partnered in the development of the under-construction Forum Aventura office condo, the completed Beacon Tower Aventura and the county-approved Aventura Square.

“The Aventura market in offices is better than Brickell,” Rabinovich said. “We have better rents and better [lower] vacancy. North Miami Beach is the same market as Aventura.”

Given that the intersection is heavily trafficked by wealthy residents of Sunny Isles Beach and Aventura, Rabinovich said office space there would be attractive for private bankers, accountants and other professional services.

Rabinovich said Uptown 163 would likely be built in phases.

Brian Bandell

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